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Newbie from Alachua (North Florida)

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Newbie from Alachua (North Florida)

Post  rainbowweaver on 2/2/2013, 10:28 pm

Hello fellow SFG's! I'm brand new to SFG and quite excited to be starting this gardening adventure. I've always planted flowers and some herbs, but this will be my 1st attempt with vegetables. I'd welcome any tips and advice from my fellow north floridians. What are the best veggies to grow in our climate? Anything I should avoid? The 5 kinds of compost is a bit of a challenge... Laughing
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rainbowweaver

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Re: Newbie from Alachua (North Florida)

Post  JackieB999 on 2/3/2013, 1:50 am

Hi Rainbow... I'm in Central Florida, not too far away. 5 composts are hard to find but I was able to get some Hen and Worm Casings from a nursery. Cow and Mushroom can be found at Home Depot. I'm still looking for a 5th kind, but I mixed my MM with just those 4 and my plants look to be off to a great start.

I guess that varieties depend on what you like. There are a lot of heirloom or organic seed websites for Florida. I used Mary's Heirloom Seeds. If you get regional seeds they will grow better in your area. You might do well with seeds from Georiga as well.

Welcome and good luck! Everyone here has been very nice and helpful. This is my first SFG as well and I've learned so much in a short time!

Jackie
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Re: Newbie from Alachua (North Florida)

Post  rainbowweaver on 2/8/2013, 8:21 pm

Hi Jackie, you're right 5 composts are hard to find! I found the ones you mentioned and a small bag of peanut shell compost from the local nursery. Mixed up a batch of MM today and hope to do some planting tomorrow! No seeds yet but some baby plants from the nursery. Its so exciting! Good luck with your garden too!
Rachel
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Re: Newbie from Alachua (North Florida)

Post  JackieB999 on 2/8/2013, 9:02 pm

Great, Rachel! I'll have to keep my eye out for the peanut shells. I hope to visit the nursery tomorrow... it's such a fun place to be this time of year. I hope your seedlings do great. What did you get?

I bought some red leaf lettuce in flats because I couldn't find any seeds and they're doing really well. I should say that one container is doing VERY well, and the other one is so-so. It's odd that there were 9 seedlings in a flat. I planted 5 in one container and 4 in another. They look like 2 totally different species! LOL, I'm not sure how that happened. One is huge and green with red accents, and the other is small and mostly red. Same MM, too. thinking

I'm excited for you! I'm only a couple of months ahead of you but it's very cool to watch things sprout and grow. I already ate 2 leaf salads and picked a few strawberries. Delish!

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Re: Newbie from Alachua (North Florida)

Post  johnsonjlj on 2/9/2013, 9:51 am

Hi, Rainbowweaver! Welcome to the forum! I'm just north of you, in Lake City. One of the biggest advantages of living in Florida is that you can grow almost year-round. I say almost because the sun is so hot here in July and August and the bugs so intense that it really does a number on our gardens. Planting of your summer vegetables will begin in about a month, so get your gardening plan ready to go! I planted my fall/winter garden at the end of September & replanted some at the end of December and I still have collard greens, cabbages, lettuce, carrots, swiss chard, onions & beets still growing.
The University of Florida IFAS Extension website has a ton of information on growing vegetables in Florida, including when to plant them.

If you chose to grow tomatoes, find varieties that are heat tolerant. Heat loving vegetables like okra and eggplant do very well in our Florida climate. Peppers plants love the heat, but it can be overwhelming to the fruit. During the hottest parts of the summer you may find yourself having to use shade cloth to keep the peppers from being sunburned. And if you have planted cabbages, broccoli, or cauliflower recently, you may need shade cloth before those are ready to harvest or else they'll bolt.

Overall, we're lucky that we have such a long growing climate here. I feel so sorry for those on the forum who a knee-deep in snow and only dreaming of their gardens! They have to garden vicariously through us all winter long! Very Happy
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Re: Newbie from Alachua (North Florida)

Post  JackieB999 on 2/9/2013, 2:52 pm

Hi Judi Smile What bugs do you mostly deal with besides aphids? What remedies do you use? Have you ever used reemay cloth?
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